Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

Cherokee County Launches 1 Million Cups – Updated

January 18, 2018


Cherokee County Launches 1 Million Cups

to Educate, Connect Local Entrepreneurs


Free, bi-weekly program developed by the Kauffman Foundation
helps build startup communities nationwide


WOODSTOCK, Georgia, January 18, 2018

Cherokee County soon will be the newest home of a national program designed to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs. Founded by the Kauffman Foundation, 1 Million Cups is based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee. The free, bi-weekly coffee gathering helps build startup communities on a grassroots level.

Kicking-off Wednesday, February 7, 2018 entrepreneurs, innovators, funders, mentors and other interested community members are invited to attend each gathering on the first and third Wednesday from 9 to 10 a.m.

Led by the Cherokee Office of Economic Development and powered by their Fresh Start Cherokee brand, this local chapter, called One Million Cups Cherokee (1MC Cherokee), will be headquartered at The Circuit in Woodstock on the first Wednesday, while the third Wednesday will go on tour to a different Cherokee city each month. On February 21, the group will meet in Holly Springs; March 21 will be in Canton; and the April 18 meeting will be in Waleska at Reinhardt University.

The program’s model is consistent in each city across the county: One or two early-stage startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers, local leaders and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.

The inaugural 1MC Cherokee meeting will be held in Woodstock at The Circuit and will feature presentations by Abdel Altamimi and Erick Rivera, who are developing a new partnership to relaunch their innovative accounting startup, Balco, which helps startups and SMBs with total financial services, client management, consulting and cloud technology solutions.

“As Erick and I begin building a fresh strategy for Balco in 2018, it’s vital to have both the support and constructive feedback of this talented entrepreneurial community. We believe that sharing our ideas and challenges in community give them the greatest chance for success”, Abdel said.

In each 1 Million Cups chapter and city, local entrepreneurs and leaders drive the program as community organizers. Volunteering for the leadership roles in Cherokee is a collaborative team of support:

  • Misti Martin, President, Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED)
  • Jonathan Chambers, Community Manager of Entrepreneurship, COED
  • Erin Honea, Main Street Director, City of Holly Springs
  • Matthew Thomas, Economic Development Manager, City of Canton
  • Brian Stockton, Dir. of Office of Economic Development, Woodstock
  • Tim Norton, VP of Advancement/Marketing, Reinhardt University representing City of Waleska

“A county-wide collaboration that unites the cities with the backing of a well-respected national brand like the Kauffman Foundation makes the Cherokee chapter unique as well as the vision for creating a culture of entrepreneurship stronger,” Martin said. “We’re excited about gathering a community of support around Cherokee entrepreneurs and continuing to make our county an ideal place to launch and grow a startup close to home.”

View the national website at and access the Cherokee microsite here. Follow on Twitter @1millioncupschk.


The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful. The Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and uses its $2 billion in assets to collaboratively help people be self-sufficient, productive citizens.

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